The meeting of the ministers of agriculture of the Visegrad Group countries + Bulgaria and Romania took place on 29 April in Warsaw and was chaired by Mr. Marek Sawicki, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Republic of Poland.
A joint declaration on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy after 2013 was adopted at the meeting. The ministers of the Visegrad Group countries presented a uniform position on the need to maintain the Common Agricultural Policy with an appropriate budget. The ministers emphasized that both pillars of CAP should be maintained, namely, direct support for agricultural producers in the form of direct payments and instruments of rural areas development. Direct payments should be simplified. In addition, the ministers firmly oppose the idea to base the level of payments in individual countries on parameters from historical periods. The Minister of the Czech Republic (current Presidency) announced that the Common Agricultural Policy and the direct payment system after 2013 will be discussed during the Informal Council of Agriculture Ministers in Brno at the beginning of June this year.
During the meeting, the ministers exchanged their experience on renewable energy development, instruments supporting the development of such energy, role of biomass in renewable energy production and second generation energy development. Minister Marek Sawicki proposed to organise a separate meeting of the Visegrad Group countries on renewable energy. The proposal was welcomed by other countries.
Another point on the agenda of the Visegrad Group was an exchange of views on the proposal of the European Commission on the change of criteria for the delimitation of less-favoured areas. The ministers supported the proposal of the European Commission to reduce the number of delimitation criteria from the current 100 to 8–10. At the same time, they emphasized the necessity to include soil acidity among the delimitation criteria, as a factor hampering agricultural production. The chairman of the meeting, Minister Marek Sawicki, proposed that countries participating in the meeting prepare a joint document on the method of delimiting less-favoured areas by the end of June.